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Italian Jewish Style Brisket

Servings: 8
What is Brisket?

Definition: [BRIHS-kiht] A cut of beef taken from the breast section under the first five ribs. Brisket is usually sold without the bone and is divided into two sections. The flat cut has minimal fat and is usually more expensive than the more flavorful point cut, which has more fat. Brisket requires long, slow cooking and is best when braised. Corned beef is made from brisket.

Copyright (c) 1995 by Barron's Educational Series, from The New Food Lover's Companion, Second Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst

Brisket of beef is a very popular dish served in Jewish homes during the holidays. Everyone has their own special brisket recipe, and this one has a bit of an Italian flair to it. Your guests will really love this delicious main dish for Rosh Hashanah.

1 beef brisket, about 5 to 6 pounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large carrot, cut in 1/4-inch dice
2 sticks celery, cut in 1/4-inch dice
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 chicken livers (poached, if you keep kosher)
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 bottle red wine
1 and 1/2 cups chicken stock

Garnish: 4 sprigs of parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 C). Trim the brisket of most of its fat and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy casserole, and sear the brisket on both sides until it starts to brown. Remove the brisket from the casserole. Add the diced vegetables and garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes over medium heat or until onion is translucent. Add the rosemary, chicken livers, tomatoes, and bay leaf, and return brisket to casserole. Completely cover the meat with the wine, adding chicken stock if necessary.

Cover the casserole and bake in the oven for 3 to 3 and 1/2 hours or until the meat is fork-tender. If the liquid reduces by more than half during cooking, add a small amount of chicken stock.

Transfer the meat to a dish and keep warm. Remove the herbs, and purée remaining liquid in a blender with the vegetables and chicken livers until smooth. If the sauce is a little thin, return it to the casserole and reduce over medium-high heat until it reaches the desired consistency. Slice the brisket and arrange it on a deep platter with the sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Chef Mark Strausman of Campagna and Fred's at Barneys New York

Date: September 1, 2004